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Santee Dental Group

What is Clear Aligner Therapy?

Clear aligner therapy, or CAT, is a custom-made clear dental appliance that gradually straightens a patient’s smile by applying gentle, consistent pressure to the teeth. Patients struggling with crowded or gapped teeth may be suitable candidates for clear aligner therapy. Because the aligners are made of clear thermoplastic material, CAT is a great solution for patients looking to discreetly align their smile.

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The Clear Aligner Therapy Process

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At your consultation, your dentist will determine if clear aligner therapy is right for you. First, your dentist will examine your gum health and teeth to check for gaps and crowding. They will also discuss your smile goals and develop a treatment plan made just for you.

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impressions And Digital Imaging

Your dentist will then take a series of digital images of your mouth as well as a mold of your teeth, known as an impression. Your dentist may make adjustments to ensure your teeth are properly aligning on the mold. Once this is complete, your dentist will ship the images and impressions to a special laboratory to make your first several sets of clear aligners.

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Fitting aND nEXT sTEPS

Once your aligners are complete, your dentist will check them to ensure proper fit and alignment. You’ll wear each set per the dentist’s instructions, usually for 20-22 hours each day, and switch them out every 2 weeks. Every 6 weeks, you’ll stop by our office to pick up your next few sets of aligners and so the doctor can check your teeth to make sure they’re tracking.

Your Santee General Dentist

Meet Dr. Hanna

Dr. Hanna strives for your satisfaction from the moment you step into the office. By listening to all of your dental concerns and developing a personalized treatment that fits your needs, Dr. Hanna is able to provide a tailored plan made just for you. Dr. Hanna is dedicated to ensuring your visit is both thorough and comfortable from start to finish. When he's not crafting beautiful smiles, Dr. Hanna loves to try new food, hike, and do anything outdoors. He looks forward to meeting you!

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Keeping Santee Smiles Happy

See Why Patients Love Santee Dental Group

Dr. Hanna & staff are always amazing! I could not have asked for better! Overall, I can say I have never before had such a wonderful experience at a dentist---in terms of skill, expertise, collegiality, congeniality, caring, and price.

Jessica A.
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My son and I absolutely love all the staff so friendly and the dentist are gentle. Takes time to explain everything. Front desk exceptional customer service.

Cheri Burgess
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My crown replacement and cleaning by Dr. Hanna and his team was painless and quickly completed. I would recommend them to anyone looking for a local dentist.

Tommie Powell
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Did you know…

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In some cases, clear aligners can provide faster results than traditional braces.


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Have questions about Clear Aligner Therapy? Find answers here.

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How Do Clear Aligners Work?

Clear aligners gradually straighten your teeth over an extensive period of time. Each aligner tray is custom made to ensure your teeth are slightly straighter than the previous tray. Trays are replaced every two weeks until your smile has reached its optimal result. For most cases, it can take up to a year to correct your smile.

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Are Clear Aligners Safe?

Yes! All aligners are made of medical grade BPA-free clear plastic, which means that they are both safe and comfortable to wear.

Are Clear Aligners Faster Than Traditional Braces?

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While time frames vary based on each individual patient’s needs, clear aligner therapy is known to provide quicker results than traditional braces. This is because aligners gently push on all teeth as a whole, whereas braces pull each tooth individually. In order to achieve the results you are looking for, it is crucial to follow your dentist’s instructions for wearing your custom-made clear aligners.

What is the Difference Between Clear Alignemnt Therapy and traditional Braces?

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Unlike traditional metal braces, clear aligners gently and discreetly shift your teeth without any noticeable or uncomfortable metal brackets and wires. Clear aligners are also minimally invasive, so most patients find them far more comfortable than traditional braces. Since clear aligners are easily removable, you can quickly take them out for photos and functions and place them back in at any time. However, clear aligners are not suited for everyone. If you are struggling with issues such as a malpositioned jaw or a severely misaligned bite, braces will offer a more versatile and powerful orthodontic treatment.

How much do clear aligners cost?

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The cost of clear aligners is different for each patient. Factors that may affect the cost of your clear aligner therapy include the aligner brand, appointment and visits, insurance type, and more. The best way to find out how much you’ll pay for clear aligner therapy is to schedule a consultation with your dentist.

Did you know…

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Clear aligners are removable and easy to clean.


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Rooted in Santee, we love caring for our community and brightening peoples’ days. We treat each patient like family and we’ll always go the extra mile to help you feel right at home!

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